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Hi from South Africa
Old 05-18-2007, 01:18 PM   #1
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Hi from South Africa

Hi everyone, glad to find this forum. New to investing, and looking for lots of advice. I see there are not too many foriegners, actually I am an expat American based in South Africa originally from Cincinnati early days and later NYC. So here is my quick rundown. . . 36 married, one child, lived abroad for 13 years. Didnt really save much until I got the opportunity to work in an offshore tax free environment where my expenses where covered by the employers. This helped me to save about 30,000 dollars in a year, which was when i was 31, (2001) then got married, and my wife had a little in a retirement fund. Together we used my savings to buy two small properties which where mortgaged to the hilt with 50% and the balance I used to start a recruitment business which is now four years old. The property boom hit here also so we sold both properties and did really well. Now renting, no debt, my business which is doing well and owns our cars. The business grew from 2 to 9 employees now. I am training someone to take my role in the business at the moment so that I have freedom to come back to the states for three to four months a year to be with family. My wife will quit her job, she is a fashion editor for a International fashion magazine, and work freelance next year as a stylist consultant. Maybe another child. Our net worth 7 years ago was about 10,000 US, is now 220,000 US not including the business which has just under 100,000 US cash and a value of around 2 times that or more i guess.
Now sitting with the half "net worth" in a money market, the interest rate here is 6.9% deciding what to do! The balance is in a retirement fund with South African funds. I have applied to take the money abroad, there are exchange controls here, and then would like to invest in American and European funds I guess, hope to pick up some advice and really hoping for an early retirement, currently got it down to three days of week of work, although the two day of the week i am at home is spent 40% on the phone/computer.
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Re: Hi from South Africa
Old 05-18-2007, 01:50 PM   #2
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Re: Hi from South Africa

Welcome to the board, Sagenx. My father grew up in Milford and we spent a good bit of my childhood commuting back & forth from Pittsburgh.

You're probably familiar with international investing and asset allocation. The next step is coming up with an asset allocation you feel comfortable with and then putting the money into it. Of course 6.9% means you don't have to be in much of a hurry.

Have you looked at a location where you can estimate expenses and run FIRECalc scenarios to decide how much you need and when ER might happen?
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Re: Hi from South Africa
Old 05-19-2007, 12:48 AM   #3
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Re: Hi from South Africa

Hi, I will have to read your posts on Firecalc, not to sure what that is. The money market rates are good, you can get a gov bond 1 year for 9%, as we have high interest rates here, but have to be careful of the depreciation of the Rand as it does the opposite of the dollar and is linked to the Euro and gold, at the moment its holding steady. We also have much higher inflation. When you say location, do you mean to retire, it would most likely be here in South Africa with a few months a year in the US with family. Cape Town where I am based is which is like San Diego, the coldest it gets is about 55 F and the hottest is about 85F, sunny 8 months. Lower cost of living but crime can be high so you need to live in a decent area. I am going to read "four pillars of investment" and have just finished "opportunity investing" to understand a bit more about asset allocation before I decide"
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